Waiting … we all do it … some of us better than others. And yet, in this age of instant gratification (*cough* Amazon *cough*), both for good and for ill, this fact has become all the truer: We will only typically wait for the things we deeply care about. So, what are you willing to wait for? And what will you do with it once you have it?
Along with the last recorded words of Jesus in Acts 1:6-11 (ESV), before His ascension to heaven, here is what unfolds: “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”
Jesus says something similar earlier in John 16:15-16 (ESV), “All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you. A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”
In both these cases, along with our Great Commission to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18-20), we receive a promise – one that still applies to us today: that God will be with us. When we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, we have been given the gift of the promised Holy Spirit, or as Pastor Mike pointed out in his sermon, God’s actual presence now with us and available to share in. The only caveat is this: it needs to matter in our lives. We need to do something with it. If we want to truly experience God in the way He promised, we must go with Him in faith.
A stunning detail from the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 1:1-8, shows us that what should have been an 11-day journey for the Israelites to get to the Promised Land from Egypt, actually took 40 years! Can you even imagine that? How in the world did this happen? Disobedience and fear. And in spite of God’s incredible rescue mission, they were hesitant still—even though it was clear that God could be trusted completely. The wait to claim what God promised them all along took decades, when it only should have taken them a week and a half.
We wait for the final return of our Lord, and that is a time only He knows. But in the mean time, it is up to each of us if we will participate with God and enjoy the fullness of His love now, or if our hesitancy or fear will keep us walking in the wilderness for longer.
The heavenly beings in Revelation 4:8 (ESV) proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And as people who choose to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of our lives, our wait to take part in this same reality is over … if we decide that what these angelic creatures say is true.
And thus, we can heed to Jesus’ words, when He prays the following in John 17:19-23 (ESV):
“And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Stop waiting and start walking with the Jesus who wants to bring you along for what is next.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF …
- Where is your faith at in Jesus right now?
- What does your walk with Jesus look like?
- What keeps you from moving forward into the journey ahead with Jesus?